After a streak of bleak winters with minimal snowfall, it seems that Colorado might finally be looking at a decent ski season this year.
Last year Colorado’s snowpack was lower than it had been in over thirty years, making many skiers and boarders anxious for the future of winter in this state. It was a rough season for Colorado powder junkies, ski freaks and snow bums — especially when our neighbors to the north were getting absolutely pounded.
It was not easy to sit idly by and watch places like Jackson Hole and Big Sky drowning in powder, while we starved; not easy to watch them taking face shots on deep lines while we hopped over exposed stumps and patches of mud, scraping our skis and jacking our boards on rocks.
And, honestly, that’s been the case for several years. Colorado has been getting the short end of the snow shovel for a while, now.
But, luckily, after about a month of consistent snowfall in the high-country, low temperatures and artificial snowmaking efforts, things are looking up this season. Colorado might be entering one of its first heavy winters in several years, and snow sport enthusiasts are biting at the bit to hit the slopes.
Vail will open early on Wednesday the 14th, after getting pounded with over four feet of snow in the last week. It is the earliest season opening Vail has had in over 16 years.
And they aren’t alone, either. Both Breckenridge and Keystone opened early for the first time in over a decade, too, reporting over five feet of snow as of November 5th. Wolf Creek was open by October 13th, and then the following weekend, both Loveland and Arapahoe Basin opened early as well. Copper, will open early on Friday the 16th, Beaver Creek, on Saturday the 17th — which, is still five days earlier than they had anticipated. Aspen will open the same day, similarly, a few days early.
Ski season has begun, folks. And, dare I say it, so far, things are looking promising.
“We’re expecting a great season here in Colorado,” says Chris Linsmayer, the public affairs director of Colorado Ski Country. “So we’re really excited to see how it all shakes out.”
Before we go preemptively calling this the best ski season in years, though, let’s temper our expectations: an early season start, does not mean a long and heavy winter. It only means we’re starting early. Let’s not count our chickens before they hatch, or measure snow before it falls.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t be excited, though. Because, I certainly am. Finally, after months waiting out the summer heat, dreaming about kickers, backbowls and secret stashes, ski season is at long last upon us again.
And if things keep up the way they’re going now, it isn’t outrageous to imagine it being a very good winter.